What is your Secret Sauce?

personal-branding, pool ballsI don’t have to say it is an incredibly noisy, crowded marketplace out there. We all know that.

And because of this, it has never been more critical and necessary to figure out what is unique about you, your business and your book, and make sure that these messages are prominent in your marketing and publicity materials.

I’m not saying this is easy to do. It seems to be far easier to identify those positive points and qualities when it comes to someone else’s message rather than our own. I suspect this is because we are aware of our own limitations, yet it is essential for entrepreneurs, small business owners, coaches, consultants, authors and speakers to be able to do this.

Since launching my publicity business in the summer of 1996, I have worked with hundreds of experts who have books on business, leadership, workplace, careers, management, HR, sales and marketing among other genres. How can there be so many books on each of these topics? How can every book find its market and be successful?

Well, the short answer is they don’t always find their audience. You don’t want to fall into that group, which means among other things that you have to find out and express how you’re different and why people should choose you. You must come up with and claim your own unique position. This needs to be reflected in any publicity and marketing you do so that your market is attracted to you.

Key Point: If you want major media coverage, or significant regional or local media, you need to be able to articulate how you’re different, why people should care about you and your book, and you must do it quickly.

Think of the New Year. What comes out every January no matter what? Diet and fitness books! It makes sense. Many have indulged over the holidays and so now is the time for a New Year, and a New You. How is it possible that all those diet and fitness books can find a market? Some don’t, as we’ve said, but many do, and the reason is that they came up with a unique angle and positioned themselves to own it. They came up with a unique hook for positioning their book in a way that stands out from all the others.

This is what you need to do for your book too. How is it different?

I’m working with a financial adviser who had a brand new book on finances. Nothing earth shattering there because plenty of financial books are published every year. However, her unique positioning was to marry money with happiness, which is a very unique position. Her messages included the ideas that no matter how much or how little money you’re making, you can still be happy with your finances. Being in control, taking charge of your money and feeling good about it rather than feeling bad about it was a major idea in her book. She had all the studies and science to back up her tips and suggestions. She even began thinking about how to position and market her book long before it was time to do so, and therefore created opportunities that wouldn’t have been available otherwise. Smart. When I went to major media to pitch her and the book, I actually started with that very line: “I know you get tons of financial books, but here is what is special and unique about this one.”

And it worked.

So here are a few questions to ask yourself to get the ball rolling:

• How are you different from every other expert in your arena?
• How is your book different?
• What is it about you that is unique from any of your other niche mates?
• How is your book unique?
• What is special about you and your message?

Jot down your answers and keep asking the questions. You may be surprised how many answers come to you.

Next: Here are some of my forward action steps if you’re the kind of person who likes to get things done:

1. Study the competition. Who else has a book out there like yours? Go see what they’re doing. What is their unique positioning? How is each of them different. Write it down.

2. Then, figure out what is different about you. What do you talk about that no one else is emphasizing? What is your background story? Why did you write the book? What motivates you? Dig in and really think about this. Write it down.

3. Get feedback. We need others to look over what we’re doing with fresh, new eyes. I do caution you however, as to who you ask to give you feedback. Remember, friends and family love you and want to support you. They don’t necessarily want to tell you the book title is wrong, or your book doesn’t make sense to them. In other words, they don’t want to hurt your feelings, so make sure you seek feedback from someone who has experience and can really give you valuable input.

Thousands of business books are published every year. You don’t want your book to be seen as, “Just another business book,” (Yawn) You want to give your book its very best chance of success, and that means, among other things, being very clear on who your audience is and how what you have to offer is special and perfect for them.

Remember, many professionals are publishing books as a way to market their business. You can too.

Just what is your secret sauce?

Happy book promoting!

Joanne

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